Former Baylor head coach Art Briles was close to returning to college football. Southern Miss interviewed the 63-year old to fill its open position at offensive coordinator. Head coach Jay Hopson wanted to add Briles to his staff, but the university’s president Rodney D. Bennett, did not want him to join Southern Miss.
The university told Briles that he was no longer a candidate for offensive coordinator after the interview. Bennett and interim athletic director Jeff Mitchell released a statement that confirmed Briles was no longer a candidate to join Southern Miss. A few minutes after the school’s statement, Hopson released his own statement on the school’s decision. He stated that he respected the president’s decision, but does not agree with it.
Briles led Baylor to consecutive Big 12 titles in 2013 and 2014, but has been out of college football since 2016. His dismissal from Baylor in 2016 was due to his mishandling of sexual assault allegations by students, some of which involved his players.
The school’s president, athletic director and Briles’ son Kendal were all fired by the university along with Briles.
Baylor is currently under investigation by the NCAA, while the university tries to distance themselves from the allegations. The younger Briles has returned to college football as he is Florida State’s newest offensive coordinator. Briles is the coach of Guelfi Firenze in the Italian Federation of American Football.
He was hired to be the assistant head coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the CFL, but they rescinded the offer due to public backlash. Universities have not given Briles much interest in him due to the scandal at Baylor.
Southern Miss will continue its search for a new offensive coordinator. The position became available in January when Shannon Dawson joined Dana Holgorsen’s staff at Houston. Southern Miss might be the last team to offer Briles an opportunity to return to college football as Briles is 63 years old.